Ordination for Ministry

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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“Wrap the sashes around the waists of Aaron and his sons, and put their special head coverings on them. Then the right to the priesthood will be theirs by law forever. In this way, you will ordain Aaron and his sons.”

Exodus 29:9

In Exodus 29, the Lord instructs Moses about the ordination of Aaron and his sons as priests. In order to fulfill their function in the Tabernacle, they must be sanctified and authorized to present offerings and interpret God’s will for the people. Central in this process of ordination is the sacrifice of animals and the sprinkling of blood on the ordinands as well as on the sacrificial altar.

When I was ordained into the Ministry of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian church, no literal sacrifices were required, I’m glad to say. Rather, through vows taken and prayers prayed, I was set apart and recognized as a pastor. As I knelt before the Lord, with dozens of hands laid upon my head, I sensed in a new way my particular calling to teach God’s Word and administer the sacraments.

As I reflect upon the fact that all Christians are called into the ministry of Christ, I wonder why churches generally don’t have ordination services for all who follow Christ. It’s fine to set apart certain people as pastors who fulfill specific functions in the church. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were to offer ordination opportunities for people who serve the Lord at work, at school, in government, and in their families?

Whether you have experienced an ordination service or not, know that if you believe in Christ, you have been called into his ministry. He has empowered you with his Spirit so you might serve him, extending his kingdom into your part of the world. The blood that set you apart for ministry didn’t belong to bulls or rams, but to Jesus himself. May you live this day as one ordained into your work.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What have you experienced that encourages you to serve the Lord as his minister? How can you serve Christ today in your ordinary life?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, as I read Exodus 29, I am reminded of my own ordination. How I thank you for the encouragement of that event! What a privilege to be set apart for particular service in your church.

Yet I worry, Lord, that by making so much of pastoral ordination, we can neglect or minimize the call of all believers to be your ministers. Give wisdom to your church, I pray, so that we might find ways to acknowledge and encourage all believers as they serve you in daily life.

Help me to see this day as a series of opportunities to minister to you by serving others in your name. Amen.